There is good news, and there is bad news, and they are both the same thing. Despite the previously mentioned ‘ultima cena‘ for little gophy (and at the risk of rushing straight from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday) he lives.
It was Tigger who spotted him, from the porch. I’m not sure if spotted or sensed or smelled is the right word to use, but, upon watching her pounce from the porch down into the garden, I followed.
What I was greeted with brought me both relief and frustration. Relief knowing that my decision to use poison gas to rid the yard of little gophy had not actually murdered his poor gopher soul (and implicated my own in the process). Frustration knowing that my ‘horticulture’ as it is described in Spanish (from my conversations yesterday at the granero) is most definitely still at risk of being destroyed from the roots up.
Quickly I called to Tigger, ran up to the porch, tied her up, and got the tube of gas pellets. I was headed back down the steps to gophy, whose little head was again poking up out of the hole, his big front teeth prominent, with the thought that this might just be it, the end of gophy. I had him in my sights, a perfectly accessible hole down which to drop the ‘danger poison gas pellet’ when, from somewhere, I heard, echoing in my head “crucify him! crucify him!” (Apparently this is what can happen when one spends too much time alone in the garden…)
Today is, of course, Good Friday, the day on the Christian calendar commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. The day when the crowds cheered, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Author and Catholic priest Richard Rohr, in his daily meditation for Good Friday put it this way: “The central issue at work [on Good Friday] is the human inclination to kill others, in any multitude of ways, instead of dying ourselves—to our own illusions, pretenses, narcissism, and self-defeating behaviors.” Hmmm…
Today also, this year, happens to be Earth Day, a day, as wikipedia puts it “to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth’s natural environment.” The day when we are supposed to celebrate the earth and its creatures, all God’s creation. Presbyterian Pastor Craig Goodwin, in an article about the intersection of Good Friday and Earth Day, puts it this way: “Earth Day’s collaboration with Good Friday helps the church remember that, like his love, Jesus’ sacrifice is for all the Earth.”
On both accounts, it seemed like a rather bad day to reach for the gas pellets.
So, I put the tube back in the bag and headed into the house for some garlic. Yesterday the Mexican caretaker of the house next to me told me that garlic will deter gophers. So, I peeled off a couple of ‘dientes’ (literally teeth) of garlic, dropped them in the hole, and covered it up.
15 minutes later Tigger was back in the yard, watching the gopher, its head poking out of a new hole.
I appreciate your honesty and your dilemma, Erin. Even those of us who strive for nonviolence can be tempted otherwise. Now that you’re calling him Gophy, I don’t think you’re going to gas him. 🙂 Which just makes the point that to kill someone or something you have to think of her/him/it as Other.
I hope both you and Gophy can enjoy the veggies in some kind of profit-sharing system.